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RCF AYRA PRO5 Review (Powered Monitor)

Rate this speaker:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 13 6.9%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 82 43.6%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 86 45.7%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 7 3.7%

  • Total voters
    188

amirm

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the RCF AYRA PRO 5 powered studio monitor (speaker). I purchased this new from Amazon for US $149 (each) including shipping.
RCF AYRA PR05 Review Studio Powered Studio Monitor Budget.jpg


The PRO5 looks serious enough although a bit busy for my taste. Like the waveguide for the tweeter which should make for more controlled directivity.

RCF AYRA PR05 Review Back Panel XLR Studio Powered Studio Monitor Budget.jpg


You have the standard controls here. It is bi-amped with dual class D amps (45 and 25 watts). My room is a bit noisy for this type of test but I put my ear close to the tweeter and I could barely hear a hiss.

Company advertises FIR filters and DSP correction.

Measurements that you are about to see were performed using the Klippel Near-field Scanner (NFS). This is a robotic measurement system that analyzes the speaker all around and is able (using advanced mathematics and dual scan) to subtract room reflections (so where I measure it doesn't matter). It also measures the speaker at close distance ("near-field") which sharply reduces the impact of room noise. Both of these factors enable testing in ordinary rooms yet results that can be more accurate than an anechoic chamber. In a nutshell, the measurements show the actual sound coming out of the speaker independent of the room.

Measurements are compliant with latest speaker research into what can predict the speaker preference and is standardized in CEA/CTA-2034 ANSI specifications. Likewise listening tests are performed per research that shows mono listening is much more revealing of differences between speakers than stereo or multichannel.


Reference axis was the center of the tweeter (aligned by eye). Measurement room was at 10 degrees C which may lower bass output a bit. Accuracy is better than 1% which is quite good.

RCF PRO5 Measurements
Acoustic measurements can be grouped in a way that can be perceptually analyzed to determine how good a speaker is and how it can be used in a room. This so called spinorama shows us just about everything we need to know about the speaker with respect to tonality and some flaws:
RCF AYRA PR05 Measurements Frequency Response Powered Studio Monitor Budget.png

The on-axis response is fairly irregular and we see many resonances as we approach 1 kHz. Near-field measurements indicate that it is the cabinet/port that is resonating:

RCF AYRA PR05 Measurements Near-field Frequency Response Powered Studio Monitor Budget.png


Being front-ported means that these resonances would be more audible than they would be otherwise.

Directivity is good which means flaws in on-axis response also translate to off-axis:
RCF AYRA PR05 Measurements Early Window Frequency Response Powered Studio Monitor Budget.png


Predicted in-room response as a result is not very pretty:
RCF AYRA PR05 Measurements Predicted in-room Frequency Response Powered Studio Monitor Budget.png


The port/cabinet resonances are causing coloration in upper bass and midrange. The trough will impact openness of the sound in lower treble. On the other hand, bass extension is quite good with flat response down to 60 Hz! Likely it is enjoying DSP correction given the sharp drop below that.

Beam width measurement shows delightfully smooth and even response in horizontal axis:

RCF AYRA PR05 Measurements Horizontal Beam width Powered Studio Monitor Budget.png


RCF AYRA PR05 Measurements Horizontal Directivity Powered Studio Monitor Budget.png


Vertical is not very pretty but that is typical of 2-way speakers:
RCF AYRA PR05 Measurements Vertical Directivity Powered Studio Monitor Budget.png


Distortion is kept in check at 86 dbSPL with the exception of a pronounced resonance:
RCF AYRA PR05 Measurements Relative Distortion Response Powered Studio Monitor Budget.png


RCF AYRA PR05 Measurements Distortion Response Powered Studio Monitor Budget.png


Waterfall display shows the resonances we have seen in other graphs:
RCF AYRA PR05 Measurements CSD Waterfall Powered Studio Monitor Budget.png


Here are the impulse and step response for those of you interested in that:


RCF AYRA PR05 Measurements Impulse Response Powered Studio Monitor Budget.png


RCF AYRA PR05 Measurements Step Response Powered Studio Monitor Budget.png


RCF AYRA PRO5 Listening Tests & EQ
I was not fond of the out of box sound although it was not terrible. So brought out the EQ tool and applied some broad, macro-level corrections:
RCF AYRA PR05 Equalization EQ Filter Powered Studio Monitor Budget.png


After listening with EQ on for a few minutes, going back clearly showed the problems with stock response. Upper bass is exaggerated and midrange is colored. With EQ, this was very acceptable response especially when one considers the price of this speaker.

Power handling was excellent. Bass deep was there (relative to the size of this speaker) and as you turned it up, speaker gradually limited the output. It avoided cracking or any other odd response. Just wouldn't keep getting much louder.

Conclusions
RCF gets a lot of things right here with nice directivity, power handling and design, bass output, etc. The one thing they left to chance is port/cabinet resonances. If that was not there, this would have been one remarkable speaker. Fortunately such resonances have a rather mild effect and EQ was effective against them. Once there, I was pleased with the performance of the speaker and dynamic capabilities. You are getting two amps, DSP and two DACs and a speaker for just $149. Lots of value here.

I am going to assume that you will be applying EQ to this speaker and as such, I can recommend it.

EDIT: Video Review Posted:

-----------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 

Attachments

  • RCF AYRA PRO 5.zip
    61.1 KB · Views: 47
Last edited:

voodooless

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I expected a little bit more out of this, especially time alignment wise one would expect to see the profit of the FIR filters. Not so much, except the impulse response looks neet. The good thing though is that the measurements basically match those of the spec sheet:

1647503578252.png


Curiously, all speakers of this series have the midrange dip. It must be a design feature.
 
Last edited:

Vict0r

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Can resonances be countered with structural reinforcement or dampening?
 

tomtoo

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I expected a little bit more out of this, especially time alignment wise one would expect to see the profit of the FIR filters. Not so much, except the impulse response looks neet. The good thing though is that the measurements basically match those of the spec sheet:

View attachment 192982

Curiously, all speakers of this series have the midrange dip. It must be a design feature.

But a strange design decission for a studio monitor?
 

voodooless

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But a strange design decission for a studio monitor?
You would think so. But standing out might be the motive here?

Would love to see one of those new ART 2-way's tested. They also have FIR filtering, but are quite a bit more powerful. For instance the 10" version. Frequency response is also smoother, though still has some V-shape:

1647504783678.png


They also seem to have some active bass control, which should be very interesting to see in action. At € 499,-, not even very expensive. You can't even get a plate amp with that kind of power for that money.
 
Last edited:

LearningToSmile

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The resonances are a bit disappointing, I doubt they'd be gone in the 8 inch version. The more reviews of monitors in this class I see, the better my decision to buy the JBL308's looks in retrospection.
 

Maiky76

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the RCF AYRA PRO 5 powered studio monitor (speaker). I purchased this new from Amazon for US $149 (each) including shipping.
View attachment 192948

The PRO5 looks serious enough although a bit busy for my taste. Like the waveguide for the tweeter which should make for more controlled directivity.

View attachment 192949

You have the standard controls here. It is bi-amped with dual class D amps (45 and 25 watts). My room is a bit noisy for this type of test but I put my ear close to the tweeter and I could barely hear a hiss.

Company advertises FIR filters and DSP correction.

Measurements that you are about to see were performed using the Klippel Near-field Scanner (NFS). This is a robotic measurement system that analyzes the speaker all around and is able (using advanced mathematics and dual scan) to subtract room reflections (so where I measure it doesn't matter). It also measures the speaker at close distance ("near-field") which sharply reduces the impact of room noise. Both of these factors enable testing in ordinary rooms yet results that can be more accurate than an anechoic chamber. In a nutshell, the measurements show the actual sound coming out of the speaker independent of the room.

Measurements are compliant with latest speaker research into what can predict the speaker preference and is standardized in CEA/CTA-2034 ANSI specifications. Likewise listening tests are performed per research that shows mono listening is much more revealing of differences between speakers than stereo or multichannel.


Reference axis was the center of the tweeter (aligned by eye). Measurement room was at 10 degrees C which may lower bass output a bit. Accuracy is better than 1% which is quite good.

RCF PRO5 Measurements
Acoustic measurements can be grouped in a way that can be perceptually analyzed to determine how good a speaker is and how it can be used in a room. This so called spinorama shows us just about everything we need to know about the speaker with respect to tonality and some flaws:
View attachment 192950
The on-axis response is fairly irregular and we see many resonances as we approach 1 kHz. Near-field measurements indicate that it is the cabinet/port that is resonating:

View attachment 192951

Being front-ported means that these resonances would be more audible than they would be otherwise.

Directivity is good which means flaws in on-axis response also translate to off-axis:
View attachment 192952

Predicted in-room response as a result is not very pretty:
View attachment 192953

The port/cabinet resonances are causing coloration in upper bass and midrange. The trough will impact openness of the sound in lower treble. On the other hand, bass extension is quite good with flat response down to 60 Hz! Likely it is enjoying DSP correction given the sharp drop below that.

Beam width measurement shows delightfully smooth and even response in horizontal axis:

View attachment 192954

View attachment 192955

Vertical is not very pretty but that is typical of 2-way speakers:
View attachment 192956

Distortion is kept in check at 86 dbSPL with the exception of a pronounced resonance:
View attachment 192957

View attachment 192958

Waterfall display shows the resonances we have seen in other graphs:
View attachment 192959

Here are the impulse and step response for those of you interested in that:


View attachment 192960

View attachment 192961

RCF AYRA PRO5 Listening Tests & EQ
I was not fond of the out of box sound although it was not terrible. So brought out the EQ tool and applied some broad, macro-level corrections:
View attachment 192962

After listening with EQ on for a few minutes, going back clearly showed the problems with stock response. Upper bass is exaggerated and midrange is colored. With EQ, this was very acceptable response especially when one considers the price of this speaker.

Power handling was excellent. Bass deep was there (relative to the size of this speaker) and as you turned it up, speaker gradually limited the output. It avoided cracking or any other odd response. Just wouldn't keep getting much louder.

Conclusions
RCF gets a lot of things right here with nice directivity, power handling and design, bass output, etc. The one thing they left to chance is port/cabinet resonances. If that was not there, this would have been one remarkable speaker. Fortunately such resonances have a rather mild effect and EQ was effective against them. Once there, I was pleased with the performance of the speaker and dynamic capabilities. You are getting two amps, DSP and two DACs and a speaker for just $149. Lots of value here.

I am going to assume that you will be applying EQ to this speaker and as such, I can recommend it.

-----------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/

Hi,

Here is my take on the EQ.
Please report your finding positive or negative!

The following EQs are “anechoic” EQs to get the speaker right before room integration. If you able to implement these EQs you must add EQ at LF for room integration, that is usually not optional… see hints there: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...helf-speaker-review.11144/page-26#post-800725

The raw data with corrected ER and PIR:

Score no EQ: 3.7
With Sub: 6.0

Spinorama with no EQ:
  • lots of resonances
  • LF seems good
RCF AYRA PRO 5 no EQ Spinorama.png



Directivity:

Better stay at tweeter height
Horizontally, better toe-in the speakers by 10/20deg and have the axis crossing in front of the listening location, might help dosing the upper range.
RCF AYRA PRO 5 2D surface Directivity Contour Only Data.png
RCF AYRA PRO 5 LW better data.png


EQ design:

I have generated two EQs. The APO config files are attached.
  • The first one, labelled, LW is targeted at making the LW flat
  • The second, labelled Score, starts with the first one and adds the score as an optimization variable.
  • The EQs are designed in the context of regular stereo use i.e. domestic environment, no warranty is provided for a near field use in a studio environment although the LW might be better suited for this purpose.
Code:
RCF AYRA PRO 5 APO EQ LW 96000Hz
March172022-161333

Preamp: -2.7 dB

Filter 1: ON PK Fc 182.92,    0.98,    2.35
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 323.38,    -1.55,    3.88
Filter 3: ON PK Fc 541.20,    -3.41,    2.07
Filter 4: ON PK Fc 749.49,    -1.40,    4.95
Filter 5: ON PK Fc 964.42,    -1.81,    4.96
Filter 6: ON PK Fc 1369.21,    -4.65,    4.85
Filter 7: ON PK Fc 1614.30,    3.97,    1.74
Filter 8: ON PK Fc 3191.71,    -1.20,    2.51
Filter 9: ON PK Fc 10821.22,    -1.88,    1.17

RCF AYRA PRO 5 APO EQ Score 96000Hz
March172022-160731

Preamp: -2.7 dB

Filter 1: ON PK Fc 175.60,    1.47,    3.49
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 327.14,    -1.55,    2.88
Filter 3: ON PK Fc 540.20,    -3.26,    2.07
Filter 4: ON PK Fc 763.12,    -1.90,    4.95
Filter 5: ON PK Fc 967.42,    -1.81,    4.96
Filter 6: ON PK Fc 1385.91,    -4.53,    4.60
Filter 7: ON PK Fc 1699.91,    3.97,    1.74
Filter 8: ON PK Fc 3185.01,    -1.78,    2.26
Filter 9: ON PK Fc 10852.06,    -2.81,    0.84

RCF AYRA PRO 5 EQ design.png

Score EQ LW: 5.2
with sub: 7.6

Score EQ Score: 5.7
with sub: 7.9

Spinorama EQ LW
RCF AYRA PRO 5 LW EQ Spinorama.png


Spinorama EQ Score
RCF AYRA PRO 5 Score EQ Spinorama.png


Zoom PIR-LW-ON
RCF AYRA PRO 5 Zoom.png


Regression - Tonal
RCF AYRA PRO 5 Regression-Tonal.png


Radar no EQ vs EQ score
Great improvements
RCF AYRA PRO 5 Radar.png


The rest of the plots is attached.
 

Attachments

  • RCF AYRA PRO 5 2D surface Directivity Contour Data.png
    RCF AYRA PRO 5 2D surface Directivity Contour Data.png
    272.1 KB · Views: 32
  • RCF AYRA PRO 5 3D surface Vertical Directivity Data.png
    RCF AYRA PRO 5 3D surface Vertical Directivity Data.png
    430 KB · Views: 24
  • RCF AYRA PRO 5 3D surface Horizontal Directivity Data.png
    RCF AYRA PRO 5 3D surface Horizontal Directivity Data.png
    441.3 KB · Views: 27
  • RCF AYRA PRO 5 Normalized Directivity data.png
    RCF AYRA PRO 5 Normalized Directivity data.png
    315.2 KB · Views: 33
  • RCF AYRA PRO 5 Raw Directivity data.png
    RCF AYRA PRO 5 Raw Directivity data.png
    460.5 KB · Views: 21
  • RCF AYRA PRO 5 Reflexion data.png
    RCF AYRA PRO 5 Reflexion data.png
    146.7 KB · Views: 20
  • RCF AYRA PRO 5 LW data.png
    RCF AYRA PRO 5 LW data.png
    142 KB · Views: 38
  • RCF AYRA PRO 5 APO EQ Score 96000Hz.txt
    481 bytes · Views: 19
  • RCF AYRA PRO 5 APO EQ LW 96000Hz.txt
    478 bytes · Views: 12
OP
amirm

amirm

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I'd be interested to see if it cleans up when you plug the port(s) and use the +2dB low frequency trim switch for example.
I did plug the port. And it did clean up but then I lost so much bass. Was hard to know if that was a good trade off. Leaving the port and applying EQ let me have my cake and eat it too! :)
 
OP
amirm

amirm

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Thanks Amir!
Nice to see a new speaker review. It had been a long time and I'm so addicted.
It has been. I had so much stuff piled where the NFS is for our flooding project that I could not use the system. Finally cleaned it up and am back to business!
 
OP
amirm

amirm

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With DSP, they should have been able to correct the response anomalies themselves, shouldn't they ?
I think so but it is possible they don't have the precision measurements we have that show the flaws. Their own measurements are highly smoothed.
 

Dennis_FL

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I expected a little bit more out of this, especially time alignment wise one would expect to see the profit of the FIR filters. Not so much, except the impulse response looks neet. The good thing though is that the measurements basically match those of the spec sheet:

View attachment 192982

Curiously, all speakers of this series have the midrange dip. It must be a design feature.

Looks like an Audyssey Midrange Dip.
 

PeteL

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Slightly unimpressed by these measurements. Of course they are very cheap speakers and for that money it's hard to ask for much, I haven't heard them but I was hearing a lot of praise left right and center for those from people. I was expecting Adam T series performance or close. I don't see that.
 
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